Koczkodan Smooth Collies are based in North Yorkshire where we aim to breed happy, healthy, well socialised and fit for function Smooth Collies.
Smooth Collies have been part of our lives for over 20 years, having first had Barney, the most amazing dog. Subsequent dogs have been pets as well as show dogs. Our dogs are pets first and foremost and all of them live in the house with us. All our litters are born in the house and grow up in our living room, so important for a breed that forms such a strong bond with their humans. They are socialised from a very early age using the Puppy Culture Programme, which is a socialisation and training programme specifically developed for puppies from birth through the end of their critical socialization period, with age appropriate protocols and lessons laid out in an organized format. Puppy Culture is based on the premise that the puppy always leads the learning, and puppies learn best by appropriate experiences at the appropriate time. The programme is based on the latest science and studies on puppy and animal rearing.
Myself (Kirsty) and husband (Richard) are assisted by our good friends, Deb and Elaine. They are both very involved in showing, assisting with litters and Koczkodan Smooth Collies would not exist without their help.
After completing a degree in Biology in York, I decided that I wanted a dog in my life again and I became the proud owner of Max, a blue-merle Rough Collie. A few years later, I wanted to get a companion for Max and after careful research decided that the Smooth Collie was the right breed. Barney joined us shortly afterwards and he changed my world.
Barney took everything in his stride and had a great willingness to learn, particularly while I completed my HNC in Canine Behaviour and Training. I taught him various disciplines (including agility and obedience) and he was my rock throughout. I have never stopped learning about improving my relationship with dogs and I enjoy helping others using positive reinforcement and reward based training techniques.
Following my HNC, I spent eight months as a trainer for Canine Partners, providing dogs (mainly Labradors and Golden Retrievers) to assist people with disabilities. As part of a satellite branch, we ran regular basic training sessions with the puppy parents (who look after the puppies from around 8 weeks to a year old), provided mentoring and one-to-one assistance, home checks and puppy assessments. I also helped to teach the older puppies to perform tasks such as pulling people upright in bed and loading and unloading washing machines. I taught these skills to Barney, so that he could act as a demonstration dog. This was an incredibly rewarding time which ended when the satellite branch was closed.
Having seen how versatile the Smooth Collie is and how much they enjoy working with and being around people, I wanted to use my knowledge and experience and decided to show and breed Smooth Collies. I still have a lot to learn, but hope that I can contribute in some small way to this wonderful breed.
With a patient smile and camera in hand, Richard is often found at the side of the showring, holding on to bags and dogs whilst Deb, Elaine & Kirsty prepare and handle the Smooth Collies in the ring. Richard is also chief dog-cuddler and technical wizard. The majority of the pictures on this website are taken by him.
Deb has been a close friend for many years and she became a puppy parent for Canine Partners whilst Kirsty was working for them. A succession of Labrador puppies passed through her doors and all left as happy, confident, well behaved dogs.
Deb has always looked after the Koczkodan dogs and naturally, became involved when we started showing. It quickly became apparent that Debs has a talent for handling dogs in the show ring, she has now handled both Finn and Dilys to become Champions.
When the first litter of Koczkodan Smooth Collies were born, it was inevitable that one would join Deb’s family, a tri boy, Enzo, who has sadly now crossed over the rainbow bridge. In 2016 Deb gained her second Smooth Collie from our August litter, Ripley, who has been shown and also has sired three litters to date.
Co-owner of Ripley, we first met Elaine through her training classes (Positive Dog Training Solutions). As we became good friends, she became interested in showing and breeding Smooth Collies. She now attends most shows with us and regularly handles our dogs.
Excitingly, in 2021 Elaine decided to set up her own affix, Himinnsaga (‘Sky Story’ in honour of her Border Collie, Sky), and became the owner of Obi (Ch Blamorder Opulence at Himinnsaga) campaigning him successfully to his title in 2023.
After our River had her second litter, she is now owned by Elaine who has also kept her tricolour daughter, Hope.